Tributes Paid To Her Majesty The Queen At Special Council Meeting
A Special Meeting of Newry Mourne and Down District Council has been held to mark the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Opening the meeting on Monday 12th September, prior to the tributes from party group leaders and independents, Council Chairperson, Cllr Michael Savage said the meeting was an opportunity to pay tribute to Her Majesty and express condolences to the Royal Family.
He said: “It is with great sadness that we gather today to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
“The reaction to her passing both locally, nationally and internationally is a testament to the huge respect in which she was held not only across these islands but across the world.
“No matter your political background or your views on the monarchy, very few people would contest Her Late Majesty’s dedication, devotion and selfless sense of duty that she demonstrated throughout her long 70-year reign.
“Across this chamber we have mix of different voices and perspectives. But this evening I want to specifically recognise the deep sense of loss felt by those members, and the communities they represent, who are from the British tradition on the passing of Her Late Majesty.
“They have lost a woman of immense integrity, sense of duty and affection for her people. A woman of presence and stability, their rock, who also had a sense of humour and a love for horse racing.
“Queen Elizabeth II has been their constant and their monarch and I offer my deepest condolences to you and to the Royal Family at this difficult and sad time.
“It is a time that not only marks the passing of Her Late Majesty, but also marks the end of an era and a link to post-war life, and also decades of admiration and love from the Unionist Community across Newry Mourne and Down.
“That admiration is also deeply felt by citizens across our district who are from the Irish Tradition and other traditions.
“Her Late Majesty’s ability to understand the complexities of Northern Ireland and demonstrate her desire to do all in her power to assist in the Peace Process is something I as a Nationalist politician, and many from my community, recognise and respect.
“Queen Elizabeth II’s desire to reach out the hand of friendship and partnership to build stronger relationships east and west on these islands and her memorable words in gaeilge on her visit to Dublin, along with her visit to the Garden of Remembrance, are a reflection of her role not only as a monarch but as a peacemaker and earned her huge respect with the Irish people.
“On behalf of the citizens of Newry Mourne and Down District I offer our deepest condolences to the Royal Family at this very difficult time.”
Party leaders Cllr David Taylor (UUP), Cllr Glyn Hanna (DUP), Cllr Gareth Sharvin (SDLP), Cllr Harold McKee (TUV), Andrew McMurray (Alliance) and Cllr Barra Ó Muirí (Sinn Féin) also marked the Queen’s death with their own condolences and tributes.
UUP Pays Tribute To Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
Cllr David Taylor, UUP Group Leader, said: “The last number of days have been a very emotional and somewhat surreal experience for those of us who hold Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family close to our hearts.
“To have the same serving Monarch for a period of 70 years was truly historic and something none of us present here this evening will ever experience again in our lifetimes.
“In conversation with my father in recent days, we reflected on the passing of Her Majesty and the impact her significant reign had on our lives and indeed upon our Nation.
“A particular comment made by my father stood with me – he said that her reign had spanned through five generations of our family… from his great-grandmother to his grandchildren – this is truly remarkable and an indication of the momentous service offered by Queen Elizabeth II.
“The passing of Her Majesty The Queen has resulted in an outpouring of grief across our Nation and indeed in various places across the world.
“There is no doubt that she was held in the greatest affection by her loyal subjects and despite the fact we all succumb sadly to the natural end of life’s course – if I’m honest, I could never contemplate, along with many, many others, a time when Her Majesty would not be reigning over our Nation.
“We believed somehow, despite the impossibility of such a situation and her obviously increasing years, that she would forever reign over us.
“I think this is why so many people including myself have found it all the more difficult to comprehend the passing of Her Majesty and that this ever constant presence will no longer be with us.
“I am profoundly saddened by her passing and I feel we have lost our one constant source of strength and stability as a Nation.
“As the Monarch and respected head of our Country and Commonwealth for 70 years, her loss is being felt by millions. Most of us have only known of Queen Elizabeth II as our Monarch and realise that her passing is a momentous event for our Country.
“Her Majesty paid many visits to Northern Ireland over the years and many people will have fond memories of either meeting her or seeing her.
“My own particular memory is of her visit to Stormont alongside Prince Philip to attend a public party held within the grounds to mark the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee.
“It was a pleasure to be in such close proximity to our monarch and to see the genuine affection and joy displayed towards her by those of us present that day. It is something I will remember for the rest of my life.
“She has left an everlasting love and respect for her and time will not diminish this.
“It is important to note that she conferred City status upon Newry during the year of her Golden Jubilee celebrations.
“This is an award that continues to offer both the City of Newry and indeed our wider District the opportunity to regenerate, thrive and succeed for the benefit of both ourselves and the future generations who come behind us.
“This is her lasting legacy to us and it is one we should all embrace to ensure the delivery of prosperity for all of our citizens.
“Earlier this year, we celebrated the occasion of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70 amazing years of service on the Throne. The events and indeed the emotion that surrounded this occasion highlighted how special she really was to so many of us.
“Her dedication to service was truly inspirational and this was recognised by people of various backgrounds. We certainly will look back at Her Majesty’s remarkable life and glorious reign with immense pride.
“The Queen was held in the greatest affection by so many and highly respected around the world. She was the ultimate testament of all that is exceptional about our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“Her Majesty had a deep and abiding commitment to the Christian faith which was evident throughout her life in her words and deeds. Throughout her long life, she was faithful to Christ’s example and teaching and we thank Almighty God for the life and service of Queen Elizabeth II.
“I offer my deepest condolences to the Royal Family as they mourn the loss of a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I hope the good Lord will serve as their strength and shield and indeed for us all as a Nation as we enter a period of mourning and reflection remembering the life and service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“I offer my allegiance to our new Monarch King Charles III as he assumes his reign and trust and pray the Lord God provides to His Majesty enduring faith and wisdom in the service of the people of this Nation.
“God save the king.”
DUP Expresses Sincere Condolences On Death Of The Queen
Glyn Hanna, DUP Party Leader, said: :We want to convey our sincere condolences and sympathies from our dup grouping, in council, to King Charles III on the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II and all the Royal family.
“To lose a family member like your mother, grandmother or great grandmother at any time is sad and leaves a massive empty space in any family. The thoughts and prayers from the DUP grouping in this council are with the Royal family at this very sad time.
“Queen Elizabeth II was an incredible person, class personified, dignified, diplomatic and discreet. Our Queen reigned for just over 70 years, and as head of state, Queen of the Commonwealth, and her domains she set an example of leadership no one can fault.
“She met many world leaders representing the UK through many difficult and troubled times, and was always there to steady the nation in difficult times especially for our small part of the UK, Ulster.
“The Queen suffered great loss because of the Troubles and her family was itself a victim of terrorism. Queen Elizabeth rose above the evil of terrorism in Ulster, with her visit to Dublin in 2011 where she laid a wreath at the garden of remembrance, reaching out to nationalists and constitutional republicans in the interest of peace, and to mend bridges.
“For those who chose to stay away on the Queens visit to Dublin they have made a mistake. Queen Elizabeth II in her decision to go to Dublin demonstrated her love for peace unlike small, minded people who choose to hate.
“Queen Elizabeth II gave her life to the nation and we in the DUP grouping believe she has made a massive contribution to our country.
“It is however very disappointing to see such nasty videos circulating on social media on the death of our Queen. If we are to have a future in this land all political parties must always condemn and discourage this sectarian hate.
“I have been in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II on quite a few occasions. This lady has set an example we all should aspire to. I am certain Queen Elizabeth is with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I say to Her Majesty, sing with the angels, your work on earth is done.
“We in the Dup grouping wish King Charles III well as he starts his reign.
“God save the king.”
SDLP Pays Respects To Late Queen Elizabeth II
Group Leader for the SDLP, Cllr Gareth Sharvin, said: “The Queen dedicate dher life to public service and was loved and adored around the world.
“The Queen was an important figure for many people – this is where she is remembered and was admired by many.
“She palye dan important role in helping to maintain British-Irish relations with her 2014 visit to Dublin which was a watershed moment.
“She made a number of gestures such as visiting the Garden of Remembrance and writing in Irish on a napkin and giving it to Irish President Mary McAlease.
“When speaking top the people of this district, I came to learn that the Queen actually visited Rostrevor as a child and when she visited Warrenpoint recently she said: “How’s all at the Point?”
“She knew our district very well and Charles and Anne lived in Crossgar with friends when they were children during their summer breaks.
“We in the SDLP know what it is to lose our heroes, leaders and inspirations. Our thoughts are with everyone who holds the Queen dear, especially those in the North.
“Whatever your views of the monarchy, the royal family and Queen herself, it is important people show sensitivityin the days and weeks ahead and remember this is a somber occasion for many people in the North and across the world.
“Our thoughts are with everyone who holds Queen Elizabeth II dear. The SDLP extends their thoughts and prayers and sympathies to all of those mourning.”
TUV Expresses Their Deep Sadness at Death of HM Queen Elizabeth II
Cllr Harold McKee (TUV), said: “Mr Chairman, thank you for facilitating this Special Meeting, granting us the opportunity to express our condolences to His Majesty King Charles III and the Royal family at this sad time.
“This has been a difficult time for King Charles as he mourns the death of His mother Queen Elizabeth II and yet in his sorrow he immediately performs his Royal Duties as King.
“As we watch our televisions we are in no doubt that with every movement, should it be security taking up their positions, a vehicle cavalcade of Royalty following the hearse carrying the coffin of Her Majesty, chosen dignitaries being shown to their seats in a Cathedral, people filing past the remains of the Queen, everything is done with respect and precision.
“Not many people can say they have worked for 70 years in the same job but that is exactly what the Queen has done, she did so with dignity wherever she went across this world and indeed here in Northern Ireland.
“In 2014 The Queen visited Hillsborough Castle Garden Party which I attended via invite and another in 2017 when I was invited to attend Buckingham Place Garden Party where the Queen and other members of the Royal family were present.
“One of the things I admired about the Queen was her steadfast loyalty to The Word of God, despite her often heavy work schedule, she never wavered from taking a quiet time to kneel by her bedside in Prayer.
“I trust that our new King Charles III will continue in his mother’s footsteps and be guided by the Word of God in everything he does as the Head of State and in his personal lifestyle.
“God save the king.”
Alliance Pays Tribute To Death Of Her Majesty the Queen
Cllr Andrew McMurray, Alliance group leader, said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Royal Family at this sad time. They are mourning a much-loved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
“But while they have lost a matriarch, the entire country and indeed Commonwealth has lost a person who has been a figure-head and leader for 70 years. Her loss will be keenly felt by many.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is one of the figures who came to define the 20th Century, as well as a large part of the 21st due not only to her longevity but her commitment and dedication to the country and Commonwealth.
“The majority of us have only ever known her in the role of sovereign and it will be incredibly strange to not see her there carrying out her duties.
“For me, Her Majesty’s death is slightly disorientating. Regardless of constitutional views, she was an icon. A touchstone to various shared histories. Her first Prime Minister was born in 1874 while her last was born in 1975, a difference of 101 years.
“That her reign straddled these epochs is alone worth historical note.
“She deservedly gained and earned respect from all sections of our society.
“Her Majesty was a woman of faith. That is important to many and to me. She embodied grace. She embodied forgiveness. She displayed these tenets in public view to all when she said “With the benefit of historical hindsight we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all.” in Dublin. And was physically embodied by her actions at the Belfast Lyric Theatre a year later.
“Throughout her reign, the Queen worked tirelessly in service to the country and Commonwealth, receiving praise from all quarters for her selfless dedication to the role.
“That is only one of the aspects of her life which will remain as her lasting legacy, and I hope it brings her family, and indeed all those grieving, some comfort at this sad time.
Sinn Féin Shows Respect On Passing Of HM Queen Elizabeth II
Cllr Barra Ó Muirí, Leader of the Sinn Féin grouping, said: “As an Irish republican party, we are in many ways opposed to the idea of a monarchy.
“But, we believe it is critical that we comment on the death of Queen Elizabeth II in the spirit of clarity and good will.
“On behalf of Sinn Féin I extend our condolenceson the death of Queen Elizabeth II whose sorrowfulloss is felt deeply by her family and many people across our society particularly those of a Unionist or British tradition who with pride and devotion hold the late Queen very dear.
“Her life and legacy will be remembered by many people around the world. And we agree it was a mammoth achievement to work 70 years in dedication to public service and to served the British people and others which she celebrate din her recent jubilee event.
“Our party respect the contribution she made to peace and reconciliation on this island and between different traditions.
“Notable is her visit to the Garden of Remembrance and her words with former Irish President Mary McAlease.
“We sense the sorrow, grief, and sense of loss across our district also affecting our council and civil service staff.
“I offer my sincere sympathies and condolences on behalf of our party group. I do so in friendship.
‘May she rest in peace.”
Following the death of her Majesty the Queen, Council Chairperson Cllr Michael Savage has opened Books of Condolence across the district for residents. Books of Condolence are located at the Council’s Headquarters at the Downshire Civic Centre, Downpatrick and O’Hagan House, Monaghan Row, Newry.
They are also available at Ballynahinch Community Centre, Bessbrook Community Centre, Bridge Centre, Killyleagh Bridge Centre, Castlewellan Community Centre, Crossmaglen Community Centre, Down Arts Centre, Kilkeel Leisure Centre, Newcastle Bowling Pavilion, Newry Leisure Centre, Newry Town Hall, and Warrenpoint Town Hall.
The books will be available for signing during normal opening hours.
An online Book of Condolence is also available for signing at: www.newrymournedown.org/chairpersons-book-of-condolences.